BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Mormonism: The Pride Cycle
This is a post for my blog about the Book of Mormon.
Helaman chapters 6 through 12 chronicles the story of the Lamanites as they become more righteous and the Nephites as they become increasingly wicked. There is corruption and even murder because of the hardening of the hearts of the Nephites, as they become less sensitive to the Spirit and accustomed to sin and selfishness. As the story unfolds, the people go through what can be called a “pride cycle.”
This cycle begins with prosperity and happiness. The people are blessed and successful, and tend to “forget the Lord their God” when they don’t feel the need for His help (Helaman 11:36). This complacency leads to pride, as people come to think that they are self-reliant and can provide all that they need for themselves, without the help of God. As humans, we often attribute all going well in our lives to our own merits and actions, forgetting that it is God who blesses us and watches over us. This rejection of God’s power and influence makes us less obedient to His commandments, causing people to fall to temptation and sin. Wickedness leads to destruction, sorrow, and eventually, humility and meekness. When we get to the depths of true sorrow and heartache, people often turn back to God for help and guidance. They repent of their wrong-doings and work hard to make amends so that they can be happy again. This righteousness, humility, and obedience brings blessings, which bring prosperity, and the cycle starts all over again.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Some people are continuously in a cycle of pride, sin, destruction, and sorrow, spiraling deeper and deeper and getting worse and worse. But, on the other end of the spectrum, we can recognize the power of God in our lives and become humble and meek before Him. Instead of pride in our prosperity and success, we can humbly thank God for our blessings and give all credit to Him instead of ourselves. This humility will incline us to repentance for our sins that we do commit, and we will be blessed for our faith and diligence. Instead of spiraling downward to despair, we can climb higher and higher, becoming more righteous and more like Jesus Christ. Of course, we are naturally inclined to pride, but how wonderful would it be if we could overcome that tendency! It is much better to submit our will to that of our Heavenly Father, who knows all and wants us to be happy forever, than to fall to the will of Satan, who only uses us to fulfill his own ends.